The U.S. Air Force is ordering a worldwide probe after outrage over a huge increase in refueling stops at an airport near a Trump property and an overnight stay at a Trump luxury resort by military personnel.
The public has been focused recently on news an Air Force jet was directed to refuel at Prestwick, a small commercial airport in Scotland, with crews ordered to stay at Trump’s Turnberry resort (photo). Now Politico reports this odd instance was not the first.
“In September 2018, on its way back to the U.S. from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, a unit of the Maine Air National Guard landed at Prestwick Airport, the airport closest to Trump’s luxury waterfront resort. The crew and their passengers then spent the night at his hotel, according to one person who was present, an Instagram post and a voucher detailing the crew’s itinerary reviewed by POLITICO.”
Politico and The New York Times reveal a huge escalation in the use of that small airport.
“Stopovers at Scotland airport have tripled since 2015 and overnight stays in the area are up five-fold,” Politico notes.
“The Defense Department has been using the Prestwick airport since at least 2015, when it had 95 stopovers, but that number rose to 145 by 2016, and then 180 in 2017, 257 as of last year and 259 so far this year. The 259 stops this year included 220 overnight stays,” The Times adds. “Since October 2017, records show 917 purchases at the airport worth a total of $17.2 million.”
The Air Force says it will look at the guidelines in its investigation with the understanding “that U.S. service members lodging at higher-end accommodations, even if within government rates, might be allowable but not advisable.”
The Air Force investigation comes fiver months after another startling revelation. Liberty University, run by key evangelical Trump supporter Jerry Falwell, Jr., has sold more than $1 million in jet fuel to the Pentagon since Trump’s inauguration.
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DeSantis’ Top Donor Invested Millions in COVID Treatment He’s Now Promoting While Downplaying Vaccines
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has been touting a COVID-19 antibody treatment known as Regeneron while downplaying the importance of vaccines — and waging war against mask mandates.
On Wednesday, the Orlando Sentinel revealed a possible reason why.
As it turns out, DeSantis’ No. 1 political donor has invested nearly $16 million in shares of Regeneron Pharmaceutical, the maker of the monoclonal antibody treatment.
The Sentinel reports that Ken Griffin, the CEO of Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel, has donated $10.75 million to a political committee that supports DeSantis. Meanwhile, Citadel has $15.9 million in shares of Regeneron Pharmaceutical, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“DeSantis ramped up the call for Floridians to seek out monoclonal antibody treatments in August as coronavirus cases spiked,” the Sentinel reports. “He’s held news conferences at treatment sites and a Tampa hospital touting the effectiveness of the drug if people receive treatment soon after testing positive.”
The newspaper reported that the relationship between DeSantis and Citadel “has generated a buzz on social media,” with Democrats questioning it.
DeSantis has been flying the state in recent days promoting Regeneron, setting up monoclonal antibody treatment sites in three counties — including Orlando’s Camping World Stadium.
DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw denied that Griffin’s support has influenced DeSantis’ decision to promote Regeron while fighting vaccine mandates, and threatening to punish school districts that impose mask mandates.
“Claiming that there is somehow ‘corruption’ by promoting the baseless political narrative that Governor DeSantis supports Regeneron over COVID vaccines (completely false, but that is another topic) is not even logically consistent when you examine the SEC filing,” Pushaw told the Sentinel in an email. “Citadel holds far more shares of Pfizer and Moderna than Regeneron.”
A Regeneron treatment costs the federal government more than $1,000, while a vaccine costs about $25.
“Griffin, a billionaire, has donated tens of millions of dollars to other conservative candidates and political committees across the country. He was raised in Florida and is building an oceanfront mansion near Trump’s Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago resort,” the Sentinel reported.
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